Two candidates, Thomas Okello and Raymond Odongo, are the only students set to take their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) at St Bernard Mwenge Primary School in Tororo District.
This comes after 25 others dropped out, leaving the government-aided school, which has an enrollment of 368 pupils and eight teachers on payroll, registering only two candidates for the PLE. This situation has evoked mixed reactions.
According to Mr. Francis Olowo, the Primary Seven teacher, during the first term, the duo contemplated relocating to a nearby school, but the school administration encouraged them to stay.
About 27 pupils had initially sat for the Primary Seven pre-entry examination in 2022, were promoted to Primary Seven, but never reported to school and could not be traced, raising suspicions that they had dropped out of school. On some occasions, both Thomas and Raymond failed to report to school.
The head teacher, Mr. Charles Owori Makimateki, attributed the problem to the poor attitude of parents toward their children’s education. Despite the challenges, the school managed to complete the syllabus and hopes that the two candidates will bring success in the exams.
Local leaders are now demanding an investigation to understand why a traditionally prominent primary school in the area registered only two candidates. Launching an investigation is seen as a potential solution to increase enrollment and boost learner retention in the school, as suggested by Mr. Andrew Okoth, the district councillor for Soni Sub-county.